Today this corridor isn’t putting the usual level of gusto into its impression of a waiting room.

The narrow space is intensely bright. Every time a consulting room door is opened for one patient to depart and another to be ushered in, the light floods in, bathing the ophthalmoscopes and dilating drops and retinal scanners in a white, sterile glow that renders them useless.

While the answers lie in the cavernous dark,we sit in the shining uncertainty of the corridor.

Every possible person passes through this channel. Elderly patients chat to the porters who pushed them there. Briefly able to see their faces and hear them joke away from the dingy curtains that dim the lights around a hospital bed, but fail to dampen down the din of nurses and doctors and therapists wanting to help and their students wanting to learn.

Young patients squint as the light bounces off the custard yellow paint on the walls into already tender eyes. School children climb the plush chairs that line the corridor. Middle aged parents losing themselves to sleep deprivation and uncertainty remind them to notice whether the seats are occupied or not.

Today, this corridor could easily welcome trains, as anxiety gathers like dust in the light.

We wait to be called, to move on from here.


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